So there’s no way to deny it. AJ is at week 3 + 3 days and he’s fantastic. He’s put himself into a bit of a routine which is great but the big achievement for me is that after day three he started differentiating night from day and sleeping longer at night and being easier to settle (touch wood this continues). So last night for example I think he went down at 11pm and then got up at 6am, then 7am for feeding. The night before he went down at 8pm and up at 3am! So I can’t complain on that front. The daily naps also arrange themselves into one in the morning, one around 12 and the sneaky one in the afternoon around 4-5pm which he’s not always a keen bean on taking but is the one that stops him being SUPER tired and gnarly in the evenings. Have we done anything specific to help achieve this? I guess no lights during the night time feeds and no eye contact. We always change the nappy first so he knows when he cries food is not the first thing on the agenda. We’ve also been super careful to make sure that we’re not waking him up. What I mean by that is that he makes noise through out the night but it doesn’t mean he’s necessarily awake. He’s in a moses basket in our room so its easy to have a look and check that his eyes are open. If they are not we leave him be! The only time I will wake him up is at 7am when the day starts (although Lolo’s normally attacked him by 6.45am) and after the naps if he’s not up, to make sure he doesn’t sleep too much during the day. AND I guess quite key, we try to make sure he consumes as much food during the day as at this age it also seems to be about overall calorie consumption.
The three things I have taken from Gina Ford.
- General structure of the day and nap times. Up at 7am. Nap at 9-10, 12-14, 4-5pm. Down at 7pm. I use these as a guide roughly but will be led by him if he needs to go down earlier or if he gets up earlier etc. Haven’t cracked the down to sleep at 7pm yet although often he’ll be down by 10pm which we’re happy enough with at 3 weeks! With Lolo I didn’t really give her a nap structure until 3 months and it seemed to solve a few things as she got really over tired in the evenings.
- He sleeps in his room, not in the day light in the middle of the living room. With Lolo I kept her in the living room with me and would just put her down in her moses basket eventually, in the living room. Everyone tells you to keep them in the daylight so they get used to the difference between night and day. But with AJ I have swapped this so he sleeps in the dark in the moses basket. What this seems to have done is that he’s more used to going to sleep in his cot at night so its not half the fight it was with Lolo and I think probably the quality of sleep is better so he’s better rested for the rest of the day.
- The introduction of the 4-5pm sleep. I have yet to get this down correctly but the afternoon sleep helps him be less ratty in the evenings. Maybe its the 3 week growth spurt but at the moment he seems to get frustrated a lot. All I can do is make sure he’s not over stimulated after 2 hours of being awake, his nappy is clean and try to get him down for his naps but at the moment he’d rather knacker himself out and just be over tired for ages. But when I can get him down for it and in his moses basket (you know, when Venus is in the orbit of Mars) it works a treat. Then its on to getting him down for the 7pm. We still have some work to do but at least I know where we’re headed.